Fighting Fake Marijuana News

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Did you know that President Trump’s press secretary said the administration won’t go after legalized marijuana? Or that President Trump’s new Supreme Court pick, Judge Gorsuch, supports marijuana legalization? Or that Senator Bernie Sanders was against California’s marijuana legalization? Or that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pardoned every Canadian with a weed conviction? Or that Mexico legalized medical marijuana? Maybe you missed all these stories because you were busy volunteering for a NASA project that pays you $18,000 to smoke weed for 70 days.

Or maybe you missed them because they’re all “fake news”.

Tom Angell, Marijuana Majority Mythbuster

Tom Angell, the prolific chairman of Marijuana Majority and the new senior political correspondent for MassRoots, rooted out the latest batch of fake marijuana news posted by a site called The Joint Blog. On the site, they had posted a report from “Rebecka Brian” that quoted the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer as saying it was “unlikely” that the Trump Administration would attempt to subvert state cannabis laws.

Mr. Angell reached out to Mr. Spicer, who confirmed that “I have no clue where that [quote] came from.” He then informed Anthony Martinelli, editor-in-chief of The Joint Blog, of Mr. Spicer’s denial. Mr. Martinelli responded that “Either [Spicer’s] lying/misremembering or my reporter is” and if he finds out the reporter lied, “I will immediately retract the article.”

The Joint Blog had also posted that one of their writers, Michael Bli, was a former student of Judge Neil Gorsuch at University of Colorado. Mr. Bli reported that Judge Gorsuch had spoken approvingly of allowing states to set their own cannabis laws.

Mr. Angell wrote University of Colorado, whose registrar informed him via email that “We have no record of this person.” Mr. Martinelli’s response to this fact was that Mr. Bli and Ms. Brian are real, but use pseudonyms to protect their identity, a move Mr. Angell called “highly unusual” for journalists breaking national news.

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